Sunday, November 29, 2009


I still believe that Thanksgiving is one of the most relevant and important holidays in the United States. Why? Because it reminds all of us to be grateful for our families, for our friends, for our opportunities and for our lives. Too many of us let day to day events remove the momentary warmth of gratitude, appreciation and contentment and replace it with a numbness that can be the reality of busy lives.

But, let me first clue you in on a secret. I've been composing this blog item for three months now. And, each time I come back to it and am reminded to be thankful, the warmth returns.

What am I thankful for?
  • Parents, family and friends who support what we do and love us for who we are.
  • Seeds that reward our faith in their eventual success by becoming the plant we knew they could be.
  • A partner and best friend with whom I always feel better when we are spending time together than when we are apart.
  • The opportunity to do work that is consistent with what we believe is right.
  • Good friends with whom we can enjoy games, food and, much to their chagrin, work in the fields.
  • Invitations from friends to join them for various events. Thanks for not forgetting us - even though we often have to say 'no.'
  • The support given by CSA members and others who want to see local foods and our farm succeed.
  • A fine group of workers for our 2009 farming season. We hope you know who you are - our thanks for your efforts!
  • The fact that our growing season has cycles - including a 'down' cycle so we can recover from the 'up' cycle.
  • the many local businesses that we need to patronize for ours to be successful - Martzahn's Farm (Greene) for processing poultry, Frantzen Farms (Alta Vista) for feed, Seed Savers (Decorah) for heirloom seed, Roots (Cedar Falls) for a place to distribute CSA shares, Beautiful Land Products (West Branch) for supplies and equipment, K&K Gardens (Hawkeye) for fruit trees and grapes, Bartels (Waverly), Harmony (Waverly), UNI (Cedar Falls) for purchasing produce, Pfile Insurance (Tripoli) for helping us to identify and acquire appropriate policies for the farm and the Waverly Farmers' Market and vendors for allowing us to distribute at their market.
  • Weather that, while not optimal, was sufficient for us to have a decent harvest in 2009.
  • A new roof on the house - thank you Dan Gingerich Construction (Hazelton)
  • Shelves in the truck barn and organization in the granary (thanks Dads)
  • A ton and a half of potatoes - especially the German Butterballs - yum.
  • A full freezer and full cabinets with dried/canned items for the winter.
  • Excellent books, music and movies that provide us with insight, catharsis and humor.
  • Have I mentioned my lovely spouse yet - of course I have! But, I'll do it again. Will you marry me?

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